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Game 41 - at New Orleans

In a recent headline, one national publication referred to our favorite team as the "streaking Kings." Wins over Boston without Pierce and Szczerbiak, New Jersey without Krstic and Jefferson, and Milwaukee without Reed, Williams, and Villanueva - the batter surrounding a drubbing at the hands of Detroit - those don't illicit gangs of hope.

Like the shorthanded teams the Kings have vanquished  of late, New Orleans is suffering. Chris Paul? Out. Peja Stojakovic? Out. David West? Just came back. The fans? Already given up.

Sounds like a game the Kings can win.

To the business!


PG - Mike Bibby's seven shots against Milwaukee were the least for any game this season, and one of only two games in which Bibby has taken less than 10 shots. He also had 8 assists, 2.4 more than his season average.
SG - Kevin Martin won't be an All-Star this year. Next year, though...
SF - Only Kenny Thomas is averaging more rebounds per game than Ron Artest.
PF - Kenny Thomas won't be an All-Star this year. Next year, though...
C  - Wednesday's game against Milwaukee showed us the Brad Miller we remember: 14 points, 7 rebounds, 8 assists. It was only a couple years ago he was threatening to average 15, 10, and 5, right?

PG - Bobby Jackson hasn't been starting, despite Paul's absence. Why exactly did they sign him? Kelly Dwyer told me Devin Brown is "a plugger" who "plugs away." I will get my chance to see this "plugging" tonight.
SG - According to Wikipedia, Rasual Butler is in rap starlet Trina's latest video. Hmm.
SF - Desmond Mason was almost a King last season. We almost lost Kenny Thomas for the chance to see Desmond Mason! The horror.
PF - David West is currently your best healthy player. You are a playoff contender. True or false.
C  - Tyson Chandler makes $10 million a year.

It's a push. I think the Kings are a kind-of safe pick. I mean, you read the starting lineups, right? Devin Brown, Rasual Butler, Desmond Mason, Tyson Chandler. That fifth guy could be Wilt Chamberlain and it wouldn't matter terribly.

The one thing I keep coming back to when I think of the 2007 Hornets - those moves really fouled things up, no? I mean, you come in with an exciting young core who challenged for the playoffs into the final week last year. You decide to go for broke in the free agent and trade market, taking on something like $150 million for three players. One of three doesn't get better and remains the second most overpaid center in the league. One gets hurt and sits out the season. The other misses a couple weeks and generally doesn't perform too well. Now, your options for the next four to five years are limited at best. Chris Paul won't be able to contend for a half-decade at best. Awesome. (In fairness, though - they made some moves. They tried to get better. Next season, things could really work out. They desparately need a reliable two, though, and this draft is light on twos.)

Justin Williams hasn't played in two games. Hmm.

5pm start. A win puts the Kings 5 games under .500 and something like three games out of the playoffs. Hmm. Go Kings.